New Takes on the Old Ball Game

Ads lurk within ads in Square One’s first work for the Texas Rangers’ baseball team.

The Dallas shop has produced four30-second TV spots for the Major League franchise that masquerade for 15 seconds as cheesy cable-access ads for consumer services such as glass replacement and physical therapy, then turn into showcases for the team’s star players.

“We studied a bunch of really bad spots and copied them as much as we could,” said creative director Kevin Sutton. “We got logos flying everywhere, scrolls, bad actors.”

Each ad, interrupted by “The preceding message was brought to you by the Texas Rangers,” then shows how fans might need such services after a trip to the Arlington ballpark.

Video of an Alex Rodriguez home run, for example, is spliced into footage of a baseball smashing a car window. An ad touting pain relief is paired with shots of fans twisting their necks to follow a ball hit by Rafael Palmeiro.

The television campaign, which breaks this week on regional cable and broadcast outlets, was commissioned when Sutton, a baseball fan, and his creative team walked into the offices of Rangers marketing vice president Christy Martinez with “six or seven storyboards.”

The Rangers’ previous advertising has been handled in-house or on a project basis with various shops. Sutton said the question of whether Square One is now the team’s lead ad agency remains to be decided. Media spending is undisclosed.

Square One handles advertising for the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Desperadoes.